So, we arrived at the Baltimore airport about two hours before our flights, ate our little packed lunch, and got in line (it was the B line, which made me weep a bit; I really only like the A line).
Then, the lady at the desk asked for three volunteers to take a later flight because this flight was overbooked. Oh, and yes, there would be $200 vouchers for each person who did so. People weren’t exactly flocking to the desk, and frankly, we weren’t either. You see, this flight home was a very special one. It was non-stop, for one, and that is worth gold bricks to Bart. Also, we were going to be getting home at 5:30 p.m. and that was very appealing as well.
But, because I am all about free money, I went to the desk. The two people in front of me both turned down the vouchers and later flights, and I asked what the deal was. Here was the deal:
– $200 a piece.
– The cost of our Baltimore-Austin flight added to that voucher.
– A layover in Houston with a flight to Austin that we might not catch seeing as there was only 25 minutes to do so, and then we’d have to wait until morning.
I said no, we needed to be in that night. But then Bart and I realized we could rent a car and be in Austin by at least midnight.
So I went back and said yes. She printed us out each a voucher for $299, issued us new boarding passes, and there were three possible flights:
– The one into Houston that would be very close (we were booked on that for sure)
– An earlier one into Houston where we would for sure make the connection
– The original non-stop 5:30-arriving flight if people didn’t arrive (but unlikely seeing as every single person had already checked in)
We sat and waited for the plane to leave. The door closed. Then the door opened. The gate attendant called one last name. I said to Bart “Ask the desk girl if it’s only that one seat.” She told him it was, but then called over to the gate attendant to be sure. There were two seats.
You know what this means, of course. We got on our original non-stop, early-arriving flight. A flight we flew for free. A flight we were now being paid FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS TO TAKE. We didn’t sit together. Bart sat between two chubby men who were overflowing into his center seat. But we were in Austin by 5:35.
And we now have vouchers that will pay entirely for our Christmas trip home and back and then some. Southwest, I love you.